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Drug Reference


Diltiazem
Brand Names
Cardizem®; Cardizem® CD; Cardizem® SR; Cartia® XT; Dilacor XR®; Diltia XT®; Tiamate®; Tiazac®
Foreign Brand Names
Angiotrofin A.P.® (Mexico); Angiotrofin® (Mexico); Angiotrofin® Retard (Mexico); Apo-Diltiaz® (Canada); Novo-Diltazem (Canada); Nu-Diltiaz (Canada); Presoken (Mexico); Presoquim (Mexico); Syn-Diltiazem® (Canada); Tilazem® (Mexico)
Therapeutic Categories
Calcium Channel Blocker
Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to diltiazem or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have any of the following conditions: Problem with the electrical system of the heart unless a pacemaker has fixed it, very low blood pressure, recent heart attack, fluid in the lungs.

What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and/or chest pain from the heart. This is called angina.
  • It is also used to prevent myocardial infarction (MI) after non-Q-wave MI. Other uses include treatment of involuntary body movements and Raynaud's syndrome.

How does it work?

  • Diltiazem blocks certain channels in blood vessels that cause relaxation. This results in a lowering of blood pressure and an increased blood flow to the heart, resulting in less chest pain.

How is it best taken?

  • Take before meals.
  • Swallow sustained-release forms (SR, CD, XR, Tiazac™, and others) whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Tiazac™ Extended Release capsules may be opened and the content sprinkled over applesauce. Do not chew the applesauce and follow with a glass of cool water.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.
  • There should be an interval of 12-24 hours between doses for the sustained-release forms.
  • Do not change dose or stop taking medicine without talking with healthcare provider.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
  • Wear disease medical alert identification for heart disease.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you have ever had heart failure or fluid in the lungs.
  • Limit alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, and liquor). Can increase blood pressure.
  • Increased activity or inability to sleep may be seen in children.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that increase blood pressure. These include cough or cold remedies, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and certain herbs or supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are taking carbamazepine. This medicine can cause carbamazepine toxicity.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling lightheaded. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Dizziness is common. Rise slowly over several minutes from sitting or lying position. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
  • Constipation. More liquids, regular exercise, or a fiber-containing diet may help. Talk with healthcare provider about a stool softener or laxative.
  • Nausea. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.

What should I monitor?

  • Check blood pressure regularly.
  • Follow diet plan and exercise program, if you are taking for high blood pressure, as recommended by healthcare provider.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Chest pains, fast heartbeats, shortness of breath, or decreased ability to walk.
  • Severe headache.
  • Passing out, fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
  • Too tired or sleepy.
  • Any rash.

How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight container at room temperature.

General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).

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